NeIC 2022 Conference: Nordic Models for Open Science Collaboration

The fifth bi-annual NeIC conference was held in Oslo, Norway, on 30.5-1.6.2022. The theme of the conference was “Nordic Models for Open Science Collaboration”, and one of the main goals was to spread awareness of and celebrate the 10-year anniversary of NeIC. Around 200 people attended the three-day conference at Soria Moria hotel and conference center, which offered the most beautiful surroundings for the event.

The previous NeIC conferences have been arranged in Trondheim (2013), Helsinki (2015), Umeå (2017) and Copenhagen (2019). The original plan was to arrange this fifth conference in 2021 in Reykjavik, but due to the pandemic, it had to be postponed. When discussing the postponement, NeIC’s board saw that with Norway holding the presidency in the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2022, it would be beneficial to arrange the conference in Oslo. Aligning with these coinciding events offered an opportunity to raise visibility and awareness of how NeIC has worked to enable research excellence in the Nordic Region.

The conference was opened on 30 May by Petter Skarheim, Secretary General at the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research.

The conference programme, consisting of panel discussions, speeches, presentations and workshops, was designed by the programme and organising committees. The programme committee invited the keynote and high-level speakers, such as representatives from the Nordic and Estonian ministries of education and research. The organising committee’s responsibility was to plan and coordinate the sessions focusing on data management and science as well as the more hands-on workshops and tutorials. The programme also contained a policy workshop arranged by EOSC-Nordic, a project funded by the European Commission and coordinated by NeIC.

Keynote by Frank Aarestrup on COVID-19 related research on 30 May.

To appeal to a wider audience consisting of policy-makers and research funding agency representatives, the programme was planned as a mixture of scientific sessions and higher-level sessions, addressing topics such as policies and national and Nordic strategies related to digital infrastructure. Education and research ministries from Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland and Estonia gave their greetings to the 10-year old NeIC and the conference guests during the second conference day, and the Nordic Council of Ministers as well as NordForsk were represented in the opening session on the first day. The latter half of the conference offered parallel science sessions and workshops and addressed topics such as data management, the LUMI supercomputer and high-performance computing, containers, quantum computing, portals and cloud and sensitive data.

The complete programme and most of the material presented at the conference can be seen here.

The NeIC 2022 Conference statement, Vision for Nordic Open Science Data Collaboration, was presented on 31 May by the programme committee.

In addition to the different types of sessions, the participants were presented with dinners and social activities. On Monday, the first day of the conference, a conference dinner was arranged at the restaurant at the venue and attended by almost all of the conference guests. On Tuesday morning, 11 people took part in the traditional NeIC run – so far the highest number of participants! –, and in the evening, most guests chose to enjoy either a visit to the Munch museum or a cruise on the Oslo fjord. The activities were followed by networking over dinner in downtown Oslo.

The conference venue, Soria Moria, offered the most beautiful views to look at during breaks.

The next NeIC conference will be held in Tallinn, Estonia, in 2024. We hope to host at least as many interesting discussions about and around open science, digital infrastructure, and cross-border collaboration there!

All photos are by Ingar Sørensen.